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Fiesta party keeps rolling for Fairhill Farm

4 min read
Star 3-year-old filly Fiesta (I am Invincible {Aus}) keeps giving back to her breeders Fairhill Farm long after she was sold as a precocious yearling.

A lucrative spring awaits for Fiesta off the back of her win in the G2 Silver Shadow S. at Randwick on Saturday, with a path through the Darley Princess Series to her ultimate aim, the G1 Flight Stakes on September 29.

Her owners Star Thoroughbreds, who paid $150,000 for her at the 2017 Classic Yearling Sale, are set for an enjoyable ride, but as are breeders Mike O'Donnell and his team.

Bonuses keep coming

Her win on Saturday gifted Fairhill Farm, located at Mt Vincent in the Hunter Valley, a free nomination to Darley stallion Ribchester (Ire) (Iffraaj), who stands for $24,750.

That bonus comes off the back of a $100,000 that Fairhill received when Fiesta won the G3 Widden S. at Rosehill in February.

"Racing in NSW, we’ve got the best racing in the world don’t we, including our country racing." - Mike O'Donnell

"It's amazing isn’t it," O'Donnell said of the windfalls. "Racing in NSW, we’ve got the best racing in the world don’t we, including our country racing."

"I was aware (of the Ribchester bonus) four or five days before the race, but you never give any thought to things like that, considering there's still a mountain to climb."

That mountain was climbed with relative ease thanks to an excellent ride from Kerrin McEvoy and the superior turn of foot Fiesta showed over her rivals in the Silver Shadow.

With the farm in the middle of foaling season, O'Donnell and his wife Debbie watched Fiesta's latest success from home, thinking back to the time three years ago when the filly from Danehill Dancer (Ire) mare Now Now first arrived.

Now Now, dam of Fiesta, pictured with Mollie Lennon

"She was what our girls here call a 'private school girl'. She was a definite standout," O'Donnell recalls. "Steve Brem picked her at the sales for Star Thoroughbreds and Steve loved her from the moment he saw her."

"She was what our girls here call a 'private school girl'. She was a definite standout," Mike O'Donnell, breeder

Feista's dam Now Now is set to foal in the second week of September to Capitalist (Aus) and will likely then head to Pierro (Aus) for her next mating.

She has a yearling colt by Outreach (Aus) who is currently at Fairhill, with O'Donnell likely to make a decision on whether he goes to the sales with the colt in the coming month.

"He may go to the sales, or we may keep him, and break him in and give him a go. But it's hard one, because he is a colt, and as a breeder, we should only be racing fillies!"

Fiesta's older full sister Reprimand, who sold for $42,000 at the 2015 Scone Select Sale, won two races in succession earlier this year, while Now Now's eldest progeny, Consolari (Haradasun {Aus}), foaled a colt by Odyssey Moon over the weekend.

"If Chris Waller considers that she can get to a mile, then I certainly couldn’t question what Chris thought."

Fairhilll Farm has already produced three G1 winners in Choice Bro (Choisir {Aus}), Glorious Days (Hussonet {USA}) and Good Project (Not a Single Doubt {Aus}) and could have another one soon, with the Flight S. definitely on Fiesta's agenda.

O'Donnell has every faith in trainer Chris Waller's judgement of the filly's prospects over the 1600m of the Flight.

"If Chris Waller considers that she can get to a mile, then I certainly couldn’t question what Chris thought. He's the best in the business. And if thinks she'll get there, she’ll get there," he said.

And every success will be cheered home back at Fairhill Farm, with further bonuses on offer.

Fairhill Farm's star filly Fiesta

As part of their sponsorship, Darley have also put nominations on offer for the winners of the G2 Furious Stakes (Frosted {USA}), the G2 Tea Rose Stakes (Exosphere {Aus}) and the G1 Flight Stakes (Astern {Aus}).

Keeping track of Fiesta will certainly add to a busy next six weeks at Fairhill, who have 34 broodmares on their farm.

"We've already got seven foals on the ground, five colts and a couple of fillies and we’ve got a couple more who may go as soon as today," O'Donnell said.